Why I Love the Phillies – Charles – Phillies Nation
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Why I Love the Phillies – Charles

As a youngster I grew up watching the Clay Dalrymple show before each Phillie game. My heroes back then were Johnny Callison, Wes Chamberlain, Tony Gonzales, Tony Taylor, Bill White, Johnny Briggs, Bobby Wine, Jim Bunning, Chris Short, and of course the man who would hit a shot off the wall in right field and only leg out a single, Clay Dalrymple. His show was brought to us by Tastycake, cakes and pies, they had a guy laying down the foul lines which were not chalk, but a white line of cloth which would end up a bit askew as he went from home to first, he would then simply tug on the cloth line to straighten it out, I still chuckle about the simple humor in simpler times.

In 1964, I was 10 years old, I put together a scrapbook, full of newspaper clippings of each game, becoming more and more excited about a possible World Series appearance. Then the bottom dropped out , I still have an ache in my heart over that one. We all blamed Gene Mauch. Through it all I remained an ardent fan , never giving up hope, and rightly so. The Phillies are a great , storied franchise. I actually cried in 1980 , pumping my fist in the air, just like Tug did when he closed it out on the mound. Having moved out to Tucson , Az. some 30 odd years ago, I have remained true blue to the Phitins’ . What a ride it has been. Here we are in mid September 4 games under .500 and I still believe we will make the play offs. Go Phils!!!!!.

– Charles

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  1. Ken Bland

    January 5, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for mentioning 1964. I needed that.

    I’m gonna guess you meant Wes Covington where you listed Wes Chamberlain.

    Perhaps you aware,Clay went on to do color on Oriole broadcasts (telecasts, I’m pretty sure), and I believe it was for al engthy period. Not sure if he’s still with us, but I checked up on him a couple years back on Wikipedia, and before it was over, he’d had 5 wives, and survived cancer. In a small way, he was the Mike Martinez of his time…we used to call him Clay Dalpimple. He was so slow! Shared time with Bob Oldis. What a lack of offense behind the plate, but that was Gene Mauch’s style. Just like there is/was such a thing as a Parcells guy, there was an indisputable personality to a Mauch guy.

    Only because you mnetioned it do I remember there being a Clay Dalrymple Show. I bet Les Keiter co hosted it. A ringtailed howitzer of a production that would have made for.

    • Ernie B

      January 5, 2013 at 11:37 am

      My favorite Phillie back in the 60’s was Don Demeter….I was eleven years old back in 1964 and that’s all I thought about, Phillies, Phillies and more Phillies.

      • Ken Bland

        January 5, 2013 at 11:46 am

        You actually picked a helluva guy as your favorite. He wound up voted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and a look at the back of his baseball card shows an actually decent and adequately long career for a guy who was never an all star consistently (not even sure he EVER made it). Demeterhad gotten introuble as a kid, but sure straightened his lefe out, and I think he was a pastor post baseball. He was a hot shot prospect with LA as a teenager, but for whatever reason, there wasn’t room for him. Very probably one of John Quinn’s best moves.

  2. George

    January 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Speaking of Wes Covington: I saw him at Dodger Stadium do the same thing you say Dalrymple did, hitting a shot off the right field wall and only managing a single (he was almost thrown out at first!) Covington had one of the fastest bats I’ve ever seen, but combined it with the one of the slowest footspeeds. He was the only ballplayer alive who could consistently stretch a triple into a single. It was actually painful to watch the man try to run.

    Demeter was valuable in part because he was traded for Bunning, the only Phils pitcher besides Short who didn’t seem to have arm trouble, and one of few who threw a perfect game.

    • Ken Bland

      January 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      If you lined The Kingfish up with Dalrymple and Gus Triandos for a 40 yard dash, and started the race by turning on a light bulb, said bulb would fall victim to dead wattage before any of the 3 reached the 39 yard mark. I don’t remember Wes’s bat speed to where I could clearly picture it all these years later.. Now teammate Crash Allen’s was ferocious, despite always swinging a heavy stick. Think it was a 40 ouncer. What I most vividly recall about Wes’s game was that fun to immitate batting stance. Geez, was that unique.One thing about Clay that was rock solid was his throwing arm. He threw bullets that were faster than anything on Bonanza or Gunsmoke. The Rifleman might have offered faster artillery.

      I see where Tom McCarthy is doing pbp of the Houston Cincy game on Dial One. I haven’t heard him in this, his 1st NFL network radio year. Why do I have this weird feeling that he’s probably a pretty good football radio guy. I don’t know how they chose their playoff guys, but he’s in pretty good company with the likes of Kevin Harlan and Dave Sims. Good for Tom. I’ve never heard him do basketball either.

  3. George

    January 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Your comment about Allen and his monster bat reminds me of Mauch’s description of him: “He has arms like legs.”

    The hardest ball I’ve ever seen come off a bat was still off of Covington’s, though. Just a blink by the first baseman would have caused his instant death.

  4. Bart Shart

    January 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    WesCovington could hit. He would have hit 30 homers multiple times if not for the scoreboard and that huge wall in right field. And, yes, he was a slow runner and scary fielder. But I loved his batting stance. Never another like it. Dick Allen (then called Richie) was the real talent on that team. Too bad baseball came too easy for him and too bad he had issues. He would have made the HOF if he applied himself and really showed that he loved the game. Bunning and Short were fantastic in 1964 —- until Gene Mauch pitched them every other day at the end of the season because he absolutely panicked. On his bench were Ray Culp, Dennis Bennett and Art Mahaffey — all of whom could have won games during that infamous losing streak.

  5. Bart Shart

    January 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Dick Allen used to smoke cigarettes behind the dugout and in the back of the seating area.
    He would sometimes bum one off the fans and talk to them between innings. I never saw a man with such huge arms for his size. He looked like superman. No wonder he could swing the biggest bat (40 plus ounces, I hear) in baseball despite being 5’10” and about 190lbs.
    Incredible physical specimen.

  6. Bart Shart

    January 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Don Demeter and Frank Howard both came up with the Dodgers. ANd in1961 and 1962 the Dodgers had then phenom Tommy Davis in left field. Howard was really a powerful right handed bat, as was Demeter. Someone had to go to help fill holes and that was Demeter, who was a fine player here in Philly for a short while. Frank Howard was a leading home run hitter for the Dodgers and then the Washington Senators. Tommy Davis hurt his leg, lost a full season in baseball and lost his speed. However, with his talent, he bacame one of the first and best designated hitters in baseball.

    • Ken Bland

      January 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      The difference in the Davises is seen in many ways.

      For Willie wins the headlines, and Tommy wins the games.

      – Sport Magazine, 1962ish

      It’s a good thing they didn’t start barraging rbi until after Tommy Davis’s career. 146 in 1962 would probably be like 175 now. And what a percentage of his teams rbi that must have been.
      Terrific season, indeed.

      • schmenkman

        January 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

        Ken, there was actually more scoring in the early 60s than there is now. 153 in 1962 would be like 144 in 2012. Davis knocked in 153 of the Dodgers’ 842, or 18.2%, similar to Howard in 2008 (18.3% of the Phillies runs).

      • schmenkman

        January 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

        By the way, that always struck me as one of the great out-of-character seasons in history. He had a long, pretty good career, never driving in more than 89, except that one year when at the age of 23, he drove in 153. Similar to Norm Cash and his .361 average the year before (never hit more than .286 in any other year).

  7. Bruce

    January 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I see that there are a few who remember the “Pfutile” Phillies of the 50’s and early 60’s. That is when I started to follow the team as a young teenager. Of course, there were colorful names or nicknames of certain players on those teams. “Peanuts” Lowery, “Solly” Hemus, ‘Smokey’ Burgess, Stan “Stash” Lopata, Harry “The Horse” Anderson and so on. One of my favorite nicknames belong to one who played for only about 3 years in the majors, all with Phillies (1958, 60-61) at first base. His name is “Pancho” Herrera. His first full season in 1960 was his best year with 17 HRs, 71 RBis and ,281 BA. Whenever I heard his name, I think of the expression from a popular TV western of that time, ‘The Cisco Kid’,”Awww Cisco…aww Pancho…”. (chuckles).

    And yes, I also remember players mentioned on this thread. Covington with his ferocious swings (when he made contact, everybody ducks). Richie Allen had unbelievable power and I saw him drove a ball in right-center over that tall wall (30ft.?) in Connie Mack Stadium.

    • Ken Bland

      January 5, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      The last 2 years, over the winter, I wrote messages elsewhere on an old time Phillie reviewing the guy’s career. First year was Alex Johnson, then last year, I did some reflecting on Don Demeter. I still might do one this year, I was actually thinking about doing it on Pancho, but I looked at baseballreference.com, and figured there just wasn’t that long a career to work with, particularly when the same source surprised me with details on a 12 year career by Patterson NJ’s Johnny Briggs. And of course Costen Shockley would be another option, if I pursue it.

      Pancho, by the way, is the current pic I have as my icon. Frank “Pancho” Herrera.

      One doubleheader I went to against the Giants was right when Allen really started polarizing people. I believe he was just coming off some sort of discipline, or something. Anyway, first at bat, he gets greeted by the volume of boos that people associate with Philadelphia fans. He got on base all 8 times that night, including at least 2 homers, and by the time he strolled to the plate for his 8th at bat, everyone at 21st and Lehigh was on their feet. But if you think Allen’s forte was hitting, or the horses, you haven’t heard what I don’t care if I look like a fool with this cornerstone record from any music collection from back in the day.


      • Bruce

        January 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm

        Thanks Ken for the link.Wow! I didn’t know about that recording. Nice song but
        cringed a little with Allen’s “singing” (chuckles).

      • Ken Bland

        January 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

        lol, yeah Crash’s voice maybe wasn’t Delfonics material, but dude had soul fro a guy from the western part of the state.

        I’ll never know what I’d think of that tune if Richie hadn’t sang lead on it. Beats the hell out of Kobe doing rap. Not that I’ve ever heard it, but the image in my ear….I dunno.

    • George

      January 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

      Nicknames just don’t seem as colorful and clever as they did years ago. I mean ARod? that’s about as imaginative as a bad TV sitcom. However, “Pancho” was just very ordinary, being the standard Hispanic nickname for “Francisco,” or “Frank,” as he was known to most fans. It probably seems more colorful because of characters like “The Cisco KId,” or the more genuine Francisco “Pancho” Villa.

      There was a fine article written decades back by Lee Allen titled “Red, Lefty and a Few Animals” about some of Baseball’s really memorable nicknames and how they came about. If you can ever find it, it’s well worth reading. I think it was originally published as part of a larger book, and I know it was reprinted in “The Fireside Book of Baseball,” edited by Charles Einstein.

  8. Bruce

    January 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Someone mentioned Covington’s batting stance (more the way he held his bat I think). The most unique batting stance I ever saw (besides Stan “The Man” Musial) is Stan “Stash” Lopata, body bending down low to the ground, legs bent waiting for the pitch. It’s remarkable that he can uncoil and timed the pitch delivered.

    • George

      January 7, 2013 at 10:20 am

      You’ve obviously never been to a T-ball game. Of course, a five-year old is liable to do anything!

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